The U.S. Confronts CCP Over Infiltration of American Institutions

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) uses “soft power” strategies to combat any opposition to its political agenda overseas. The U.S. government and media are taking steps toward thwarting infiltration into the economic sector, the electoral process, the media, the film industry, and the educational system through CCP directed Confucius Institutes.

An exhaustive investigation by the Office of the United States Trade Representative concluded that China’s activities concerning technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation are “unreasonable and discriminatory and burden or restrict U.S. commerce.” The Epoch Times details how China has violated numerous economic, intellectual property and trade commitments to the World Trade Organization.

In August, the U.S. China Economic Security Review Commission published a report entitled “China’s Overseas United Front Work: Background and Implications for the United States” highlighting China’s infiltration activities. China’s United Front Work Department (UFWD), is the party branch charged with overseeing influence operations to deal with both domestic opposition groups and foreign activities. The UFWD’s overseas work seeks to co-opt ethnic Chinese living abroad and influence other sovereign states. The report concludes, “it is crucial for the U.S. government to better understand Beijing’s United Front strategy, its goals, and the actors responsible for achieving them if it is to formulate an effective and comprehensive response.”

Bill Gertz at The Washington Free Beacon reported that the UFWD is actively influencing think tanks in Washington, citing a congressional commission report that the CCP “employs tens of thousands of operatives” through its United Front agency to promote its policies, and includes “paying several Washington think tanks, with the goal of influencing their actions and adopting positions that support Beijing’s policies.”

US Representative Chris Smith of New Jersey introduced H.R 6010 in June, a bill requiring that “an unclassified interagency report on the political influence operations of the Chinese Government and Communist Party with respect to the United States.” Later, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida introduced a similar resolution, Senate Resolution 3171 Countering the Chinese Government and Communist Party’s Political Influence Operation Act.

Vice President Mike Pence recently said, “Beijing is employing a whole-of-government approach to advance its influence and benefit its interests,” and “today, the Chinese Communist Party is rewarding or coercing American businesses, movie studios, universities, think tanks, scholars, journalists, and local, state and federal officials.”

The Epoch Times recently highlighted different ways the CCP has attempted, at times quite successfully, to infiltrate the United States. In April, the CCP’s Chinese Civil Aviation Administration sent a letter to 36 foreign air carriers insisting that they change the way in which they described “Taiwan,” “Hong Kong” and “Macao” to comply with the Chinese government’s agenda. The Epoch Times has also exposed how several major news outlets, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, have actively promoted CCP propaganda by publishing inserts designed to look like legitimate Chinese state-run news content.

Foreign Policy reported in May, “On campuses across the United States, funding gaps are leaving departments with little choice but to turn to those groups with the deepest pockets—and China is keen to offer money, especially through its global network of Confucius Institutes.” The writer notes that the co-director of Savannah State University’s Confucius Institute has directly engaged in censoring information on Taiwan.

Sarah Cooke, senior research analyst at Freedom House, said the CCP has three aims to achieve with their overseas influence operations on the media. The first “is to promote a positive view on China and a benign perspective of the CCP’s authoritarian rule within China. The second aim is to encourage foreign investment in China and openness to Chinese investment in other countries. The third is to marginalize, demonize or entirely suppress anti-CCP voices.”

The response of the US government and the media to the CCP’s insidious reach is important for those of us working to expose China’s transplantation crimes. Namely, a more pervasive, subtle and unchecked form of propaganda has the danger of influencing a wider audience, thereby interfering not only with the medical community’s awareness of forced organ harvesting but also the general public’s understanding of what the CCP is doing to its own citizens.